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Wondrous Stories – and that’s a wrap!

24th March 2022

We’re just back from opening the Birmingham 2022 Festival with our large-scale production, Wondrous Stories. Turning the whole of Centenary Square into the stage for the show, with a cast of more than 250 people and reaching audiences of more than 20,000 from all across the city and region over four nights, it was a real celebration of community and togetherness.

A huge thank you and a massive shout out to every single person who was part of the Wondrous Stories adventure with us – we couldn’t have done it without you!

If you missed Wondrous Stories last week, don’t worry – you can watch the whole show, which was streamed live on our YouTube channel last Friday. If you missed it you can watch it on YouTube, or watch the video below. It’s been seen by over 11,000 people already!

If you came to watch Wondrous Stories, whether that was in person or online for the live-stream, we would love to hear what you thought of the show! Fill out our quick and easy online survey

To bring the square to life, Motionhouse’s professional dance-circus artists were joined by aerialist LJ Marles plus guest performers from inclusive wheelchair dance group Freewheelin, dancers from the Critical Mass project, Motionhouse Youth, Motionhouse community class participants, Timmins Academy and the Centre for Advanced Training programme run by DanceXchange and Sampad.

The show featured additional choreography by Jamaal Burkmar and Sonia Sabri, live spoken word performance from Coventry and Birmingham-based artists Raza Hussain and Sebbie Mudhai, and actor Leon Finnan, and digital projections by Logela Multimedia.

Birmingham’s Choir With No Name sang to an incredibly beautiful soundtrack by Sophy Smith and Tim Dickinson (are you still singing the Wondrous Stories song? We are!). Designer Sophie Donaldson leads Birmingham City University students in costume creation.

For full credits, check out our programme.

A huge thank you to everyone at the Birmingham 2022 Festival team, our producers OPUS, and to the funders of the project, Arts Council England, National Lottery Heritage Fund and the Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport.

Check out some of the amazing highlights from the show below…

Wondrous Stories was all about stories past, present and future.

In the run up to the show, we invited people from across the region to share their story to form a snapshot of life in the area as Birmingham and the West Midlands becomes the focus of international attention through the Commonwealth Games. We received loads of beautiful stories, some of which were used in a magical scene in the show.

Read all of the stories we received on Wondrous Stories Digital Platform!

Thank you to everyone that submitted a story, it has been a privilege to be a part of capturing this moment in time for Birmingham and the West Midlands.

Gallery images, aerial bicycle image: Dan Tucker, close up image of Critical Mass dancers in red dresses: Getty Images Matthew Lewis, dancer doing somersault: Brian Slater, close up of Critical Mass dancers: Lucy Ray PA Wire, image of globe: Getty Images Matthew Lewis, wide shot of Critical Mass dancers: Brian Slater


Presented by Birmingham 2022 FestivalWondrous Stories is created by Motionhouse and produced by Outdoor Places Unusual Spaces (OPUS). 

Generously supported by Arts Council England, National Lottery Heritage Fund and the Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport.